Decision tonight on school closures for Parksville Qualicum Beach

Motions will be on the floor for trustees, suggesting they close four area elementary schools - meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Parksville

With possible school closures being announced tonight, more than 100 people gathered Friday to show their support and raise awareness of their plan to save Qualicum Beach Elementary School.

Now formally organized as the Qualicum Beach Community School Steering Committee, the event Friday afternoon was fun and active, keeping the audience moving with aerobic dancing interspersed with short speeches about the importance of the school to the community.

“Closing QBES is going to drive children and families out of the public school system and out of the town,” co-chair of the committee Anna Sjoo told The NEWS. “Community schools have been proven to be successful and sustainable. Creating a community school is an opportunity to provide an alternative, innovative and more attractive model of education for our children.”

Complete with a 23-page working plan, the committee is calling on the trustees of School District 69 (Qualicum) to hold off closing QBES for one year to give them time to convert it to a community school model to help save it.

“We have given you many compelling reasons to keep the school open — improved learning opportunities and outcomes for students, community wellness, access to increased revenues and in-kind donations, improved community relations, among numerous others,” said co-chair Anne Skipsey.

The committee is calling on all supporters to wear red and attend the school board meeting tonight, Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre.